FLINT, Michigan — On an early evening in November, the mood inside The Antidote Studio
, housed within the Sylvester Broome Empowerment Village
on Flint’s north side, is focused. Photographer Anthony Summers and I are there to capture the studio’s premier artist, SixoneSixx, as she arrives with her manager and the Executive Director of Antidote, Maryum Rasool.
SixoneSixx radiates eagerness and excitement, dressed in a sparkling choker and necklace, a white tank top under a black leather jacket that hangs off her shoulders, blue jean shorts, and white Nikes. As we move from one space to another to accommodate her busy schedule, she poses naturally and effortlessly, exuding a captivating girl-next-door charm.
It is because, after our conversation ends, she will be off to film a music video with Flint icon Louie Ray, featured on her soon-to-be-released album, So Far So Bad
, which she calls “a reflection of my life; things I’ve gone through personally,” and then travel back to New York for the weekend. Produced and engineered by Antidote Studio, it’s a deeply personal project. It has allowed her to explore beyond her usual style, pushing her boundaries and stepping out of her comfort zone.
As we sit in the studio, the tracks from the album play in the background, filling the space with a lively and energetic sound. She explains how this album has allowed her to emphasize a newfound “bounce” and “presence” that she didn’t have in her previous work.
Inside The Antidote Studio, SixoneSixx describes her team as "like a real family" while creating her new EP on Nov. 7, 2023. (Anthony Summers | Flintside.com)
“I wrote all my music myself. It’s thrilling to write, see your vision come to life, and have a room full of people who encourage it and can back you up with the beats and the ideas to keep you vulnerable and the music pure,” she asserts in a confident and poised manner. “To listen to it in its entirety was kind of like closing a chapter. I’m proud of myself. I feel like I grew as an artist and as a person.”
As each track plays, it’s immediately apparent that So Far So Bad
sees SixoneSixx at her best. A fuller sound is present, with a track that gives the feel of being in the Caribbean and another eliciting head nods, creating “timeouts for people” to escape their everyday lives.
“When I made the first song on my track list, Ghost
, it made me reflect and realize that I’m in a different mental space than my last album [where] I felt constrained. [So Far So Bad] is probably the most raw I’ve done [with] vocals, the presence, the energy, and the thought process. This was a very vulnerable album to write.”
It validates the studio’s claim to be a “top-of-the-line non-profit recording facility” where anyone can utilize their “state-of-the-art recording services.” It also cements the idea that throughout the entire process, her relationship with the studio has transcended a regular working one and has moved into becoming “like a real family.”
Flintside caught up with SixoneSixx to talk about So Far So Bad
, her roots in Zeeland, Michigan, and her love for music and her fans.
"Speaking with my team, there were moments where we would pause the track and talk. I would [say] ‘this is real life,’ explains SixoneSixx inside The Antidote Studio on Nov. 7, 2023. (Anthony Summers | Flintside.com)Flintside: What was the process or plan during the creation of So Far So Bad?
“I don’t have a plan. I go in, record, and then we sit back and look at what I made. I realized this vulnerability starting and going through some of these songs. Speaking with my team, there were moments when we would pause the track and talk. I would [say] ‘this is real life.’ I’ve grown so much with [The Antidote Studio] that I can tell them anything. They knew the dynamics. They knew the strings. They knew the baseline that I needed. They were there with me through every step.”
Flintside: You’re not from Flint yet you have a growing history with the city. How did this come about?
“I’m from Zeeland, Michigan. Zeeland is a tourist town. It’s very flashy, cookie-cutter. You had to go out of town to find something different. I felt like I outgrew the city very fast. I moved to Lansing, and [that] is where I started my first music steps. [Nygee Grant] had a competition for an album to work with The Antidote, and I won. It was the first album I ever made, and I was very nervous about it. I was in the mindset [that] I had to belt like Monica or be Brandy, but I don’t have a voice like that. Just being able to make my own sound is really what I’m doing.”
Flintside: Your discography is rich in R&B and soul. Why did you choose this genre?
“R&B is where people drop off their souls. That’s where I started burying my soul. But honestly, R&B is not my style. As fun as it is to use this as a therapy outlet, I wanna do everything. I want to be a messenger. I like to hear people impacted by my music and who have gone through similar situations. So, R&B was just the most releasing way. [But] I started off rapping.”
SixoneSixx expresses gratitude and humbleness to her fans for "being patient," and "telling everyone about me and spreading the word about The Six News," on Nov. 7, 2023. (Anthony Summers | Flintside.com)Flintside: Why do you make music at this point in your career?
“I make music because I love it. I make music for my fans. I love music, and I love the feeling it feels to have a finished project. I like to create situations. I call them ‘Sixuations’ [where] you can sit for two or three minutes and decompress in that moment. I look for escape every day. It’s rough out here, [so] I love creating timeouts for people.”
Flintside: You’ve performed at The Antidote Fest, Local Fest, and other events in the city. How have those experiences treated you?
“It’s been different. Meeting the people who have created the stepping stones for Flint and learning the ropes from them has been beautiful. Flint is such a hub for music. Antidote Fest was amazing. To see the city come out, people knew my lyrics, looking out into the crowd and seeing that, it’s been fun performing in Flint.”
Flintside: Finally, what do you want to say to your fans and any new ones that will arrive?
“Words can’t explain how grateful I am for the support, patience, and encouragement. I love to have that connection with you guys. So, thank you for supporting me. Thank you guys for being patient. Thank you for telling everyone about me and spreading the word about The Six News. I’m ready. Everything I’ve dropped has opened a new door, and I can’t wait to see what this one opens.”
For more SixoneSixx, find her on Facebook and Instagram. Check out her music discography here. 'So Far So Bad' is scheduled to be released soon.